Everyone has had a fight with a good friend. It is a most unpleasant experience, because suddenly, someone close, trusted and well-meaning becomes a threat, a source of fret, confusing feelings and hurt.
Anxiety, in normal valence, is a good friend. It helps us stay aware of potential danger, dead ends and a variety of tripwires that everyday life sets up.
Parents, teach their babies to be wary of hotplates, of traffic in the street, of petting strange dogs or talking to strangers. Teaching anxiety to babies is part of the job of preparing them for the world beyond the safety of the nursery.
I have been a practicing psychologist for several decades. Treating anxiety and other types of affect dysregulation has become my specialty and in many ways, my cause. As a result, I’m acutely aware of all the things that can lead to extreme emotions.
There are many triggers in everyday life that bring on emotional overwhelm. An abandoned package at the airport, an emergency call from the school their child attends, a stolen credit card or a lovers’ spat all are examples of the stressors of life that may elicit a flood of runaway emotions.
When I read the news, I cannot help imagining how it might stress people who are prone to anxiety. Fear of terrorism, climate change, economic pressures, job insecurity, healthcare costs or just the tension of the rush hour commute can throw some people into a state that affects them physically and emotionally.
And any one who is in a relationship can be reactive as well. It’s easy to become emotionally reactive when someone feels controlled, betrayed, abandoned, misunderstood or criticized. The list goes on.
The good news is that there are ways, simple and accessible, to treat affect dysregulation, including extreme anxiety.
More good news: Since 2007, I have published several books on the subject of anxiety and ways to combat it right when and where it happens. My latest one is called The Road to Calm Workbook: Life-changing Tools to Stop Runaway Emotions. It will be released on April 25, 2016, and will be available on audio recordings as well as on an APP.
It is a veritable toolbox, which can be used at any time or place as the need arises. It helps readers STOP the mounting tide of unregulated emotions in its tracks. It helps them regain composure and gives them access to their faculties so they can function rationally in the face of whatever it was that triggered them.